To read the full Invention notes, see here.
With 26 skills and the last two’s validity of being a ‘skill’ arguably under question, it begs the question: “Do we really need more skills? Does Invention really need to be a skill?”
I think Mod Kelpie and the design team made a good choice here: Invention should not be a new skill.
I know that leaves some of you sad and dejected, your hopes of being the first to 99 on a new skill dashed for another few years, but it really is for the better.
You see, instead of making an entirely new skill, they are going to turn Invention into a Design Concept to lead changes to other skills. Between Smithing, Crafting, Fletching, Construction, Runecrafting, and Magic we already have the basics for nearly any type of invention. A new skill would step on these. However, what we don’t have is good useful things to do with all of these skills once we reach higher levels. Actually, on that note, we don’t have good things to do with them for most levels. Very little if any craftable gear is worth using anymore, this is a huge problem. Craftable items should always be some of the best gear in the game, any game. Why? Because it requires player involvement and drive, this keeps players engaged and desiring to play the game.
Using Invention as the inspiration design concept driving changes to these skills should remedy most of these problems. As Mod Kelpie explains, they want players to be less ‘cookie-cutter’. That is, instead of everyone wearing the same armor and using the same weapon, people should be able to choose without losing effectiveness. So you like axes, not scimitars or rapiers? Modify your axe to make it really good. You prefer bows over crossbows? Alter your bow to make it better.
An interesting and I think very good idea is that of items which grow with your character. That is, leveled items. Rather than buying Drygores as soon as you can use them, you might stick with your abyssal whip since it’s level 25, whereas a tradeable drygore would be level 0. I don’t know exactly how they’re going to run this system, but it would make sense if each level of your item increased it’s damage and accuracy tier. There would likely be a cap so that you couldn’t have a tier 99 bronze dagger(but hey, if you want to spend 10,000 hours levelling a bronze dagger…who am I to stop you?). Armor likewise would level up and gain strength, making it potentially worth buying Dragon at 60 and using it past barrows. Personally I would love to see a player in full dragon doing just as well as one in full Torva or Tetsu, because he has levelled his dragon and earned that privilege.
Another great idea he describes is that of having the character actually use all of the vast knowledge they have gained. This has multiple benefits. For one, the types of things he mentions would require players to complete certain quests or activities – this makes perfect sense. Once the character has done a quest and learned this knowledge, they could think to themselves “Hey, what if I added this idea to my longsword? Or my shield? Could I increase my dragonfire resistance, or add electrical damage to my bow?” With all the various, bizarre, and wild things Runescape quests have done, the possibilities are endless.
One other thing I’d like to expound upon is the thought of more customization in regard to cosmetics and appearance. This is an area where Runescape has been lacking for some time now. In previous years, how you looked(stylistically) was very important. A few inexpensive but well thought-out pieces of equipment would garner you more respect than having the latest armor or most expensive items. In most games, especially at upper levels and end-game, how a character looks is very important. Runescape’s current cosmetic system is ‘alright’ and ‘okay’, for a start. They need to add the ability to override our worn equipment visuals with that of other wearable equipment, not just stuff bought from SGS. Let us appear to be wearing barrows, even when wearing nothing. Or appear to be wearing a gnome shirt and mithril platelegs when wearing Tetsu training slayer. These Invention concepts could provide this opportunity.
I’m glad they did not Player Power vote this change. The players are notoriously unreliable in their thinking and likely would’ve forced this into a skill – just for the sake of having another ‘skill’. That would’ve been bad.
Regarding item sinks, the Invention designs will still have this. This is a necessary evil because other aspects of the game have been unbalanced so much. Had other updates been released with more thought, an item sink would not be needed.
And lastly, although it isn’t in the FAQ I see a lot of posts about it, regarding level 120. I think it would be a MAJOR mistake if they added exclusive content to skills 100-120. While they do need to raise the level cap for all skills, this is an entirely separate issue in and of itself. The majority of players do not waste their lives getting 120 in every skill, most only go for 99 in their favorite skills. It would be much better to focus on the level 60-99 range, making sure not to forget stuff for lower levels. Let us not forget that attracting new players is something Runescape still struggles with, so it makes more sense to make something inviting for them rather than adding more endgame for a relative minority.